Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 
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An Occasional Guide to Irish Politics: The Political Conspiracy Theorist.

Posted by Jason O on Feb 2, 2011 in Irish Politics, Not quite serious.

Everyone knows Fianna Fail have a UFO for distracting from bad unemployment figures!

Everyone knows Fianna Fail have a UFO for distracting from bad unemployment figures!

You see this guy posting comments on boards like Politics.ie. 

Everything, everything, is a wily political chessboard move, and nothing happens that isn’t part of a conspiracy that would give Fox Mulder and Dana Scully a nosebleed.

God love him, but he gives our political masters way too much credit. The PDs, for example, were part of an international ideological conspiracy to destroy the welfare state. He’d never actually met anyone of any significance from the PDs, but then that would have hindered the purity of his beliefs. Immigration is part of a plot to destroy Irish culture. Apparently there’s a tipping point (he can prove this on an Excel spreadsheet!) whereby one additional Pole tips the balance, and all of a sudden we’re setting fire to GAA clubs and eating cabbage flavoured icecream. The Sunday Indo and RTE are the tools of Fianna Fail. Or Fine Gael, depending on the balance of fluid in his brain at any given time.

Everything is part of a plan concocted by people far smarter than him but not smart enough to cover it up from him. He tends to smell of wee a lot, but that’s because every morning they sneak into his bedroom when he is in the toilet, and pour wee on his trousers to discredit him.

The well-organised bastards.

 
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Waterstone’s to close in Dublin

Posted by Jason O on Feb 2, 2011 in Books

The shape of things to come?

The shape of things to come?

I was genuinely saddened when I heard the news yesterday, although not surprised. I like Waterstone’s a lot. I love browsing, coming across books that I don’t see anywhere else in Dublin in their excellent history section. I liked their staff, who actually read books. I liked the atmosphere in the store. Yet I’m not surprised that they’re closing, because in the last two years I’d say I spent less than €75 in the store.

That’s the problem. I go in, have a browse, and if I see something I really like, I’ll probably buy it cheaper on Amazon.  Yet there’s the hard thing for Waterstone’s, because without them I probably would not have seen the book in the first place.

Book stores, and music stores, are both being hammered by the wider choice and cheaper prices available online, and also by the higher overheads of maintaining a main street bricks and mortar presence. They still have the impulse advantage, that DVD or book you just happen to see at just the right price and snatch it up, but that’s not enough to build a business model on, is it?

What’s the future: A world without bookstores? Personally, I suspect we may end up with huge book warehouses on the outskirts of cities, IKEA style operations which become Saturday afternoon destinations for bibliophiles, with upmarket dining and facilities for book clubs and author lectures. Through sheer size they may be able to compete with the web on price and choice. And who knows, maybe even bring like-minded people together: Singles night at BookMegaMart, anyone?

 
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But what if Fine Gael and Labour make each other cry?

Posted by Jason O on Feb 2, 2011 in Election 2011, Irish Politics

Now, Eamonn, Enda, let's keep this clean.

Now, Eamonn, Enda, let's keep this clean.

I wonder, but do Eamonn Gilmore and Enda Kenny have to watch out? After all, if both party leaders become the de facto viable choices for Taoiseach (Michael isn’t, for obvious reasons), and start to actually see each other as the chief rival, what happens when the smoke clears and they have to do the business? I’ve no doubt that they will: After all, when the lights go up at the end of the night in the disco, lads get desperate and one is always shocked at who goes home with whom, but think of the reaction of voters. They never forgave Dick Spring for spending the 1992 campaign savaging Fianna Fail, and then propping them up. What happens if they get too vicious, with each party promising their voters that the other guys policies are unacceptable, and then putting them in?

By the way, the more I think of it, and I’m changing my mind here on things I’ve written about previously (yes, I’m allowed do that) the more I think that Martin’s offer of propping up a minority Fine Gael government is a con. Follow it through to its logical conclusion: Fine Gael in government on their own means that Labour will be the opposition, and that surely cements Labour as the clear alternative government. It also relegates Fianna Fail to possible permanent third party status as a slightly sleazy version of the Liberal Democrats. Fine Gael becomes the clear home of business and centre right voters (and more importantly, fund raising money) and Labour becomes the social democratic alternative. Fianna Fail may never recover, because their natural demographic (as opposed to historical) base may have somewhere else to go for better representation.

In short, if only for the fact that Irish governments always lose support over their life time, Fianna Fail’s long term interest is in making sure that Fine Gael and Labour join each other in government. The fact that we may end up with some constituencies that only have government TDs won’t do Fianna Fail any harm either. 

 
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My friends are doing well. The bastards.

Posted by Jason O on Feb 2, 2011 in Election 2011, Irish Politics, Not quite serious.

Flipping through the telly last night, I see pal Averil Power giving a solid account of herself on Vincent Browne. Then I see Marc McSharry, whom I knew in boarding school, also appointed to the FF front bench. And then finally, I see crony and colleague Andrea Pappin (the one who does all the work at www.election2011.ie) on The Eleventh Hour becoming the Nigella Lawson of Irish political punditry.

I’m reminded of that Oscar Wilde(?) saying: Everytime I see one of my friends getting on, a little bit of me dies. 

Copyright © 2018 Jason O Mahony All rights reserved. Email: Jason@JasonOMahony.ie.